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Gunmen kidnap retired air vice marshal in Lagos

By Jesutomi Akomolafe
28 September 2021   |   10:05 am
Masked gunmen have abducted retired Air Vice Marshal Sikiru Smith in the Ajah area of Lagos State.

Hands tied with rope PHOTO: Juanmonino/Getty Images

Masked gunmen have abducted retired Air Vice Marshal Sikiru Smith in the Ajah area of Lagos State.

The gunmen were said to have whisked the retired general away in a waiting speedboat and sped away.

“We are aware,” police spokesman Adekunle Ajisebutu told The Guardian when asked about the kidnap.

Corporal Odiji, Smith’s driver, in an SOS message, said the retired AVM engaged in a struggle with the gunmen before he was subdued, The Punch reported.

“This is an emergency. I am Corporal Odiji attached to Air Vice Marshal Smith,” Odiji said. “They just abducted him from the site where we were working. Some gunmen who were wearing masks just came and snatched my boss now. They shot everywhere. I was near where I was fixing my boss’ vehicle.

“As I was coming, I saw them leaving in a boat but I wasn’t armed so I just ran to the site and I saw his glasses and where he struggled with them. Please pass this information. It is an emergency.”

Meanwhile, the Spokesman for the Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, has promised to make inquiries and provide information on the kidnapped.

AVM Smith started his career in the Nigerian Air Force as a Pilot Officer in 1979 and he is a BSc, MSc, MBA and PhD degree holder and an Alumnus of Harvard University and fellow of different professional bodies in Nigeria.

Smith attended several military courses both locally and overseas which include flying and engineering. He was awarded numerous military decorations such as Distinguished Service Star, Pass Staff College (Dagger) and Fellow of the prestigious National Defence College.

He was the Commanding Officer ( Air Engineering Wing, Sierra Leone/Liberia; Commander, Nigerian Air Force Station, Calabar; Deputy Director, Air Engineering, Nigeria Air Force Headquarters, Abuja, Commander 333 Logistics Group, Kaduna, Commander, 401 Aircraft Maintenance Depot, Ikeja; Chief of Logistics, Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, Abuja and Chief of Defence Communications, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

Meanwhile, Ogbuagu Kingsley Kachi has been kidnapped at the frontage of a Catholic church on Sunday in Festac.

According to report, the abductors, said to be three in number, arrived at the church around 11 am on Sunday and whisked him away in a Lexus vehicle.

However, there have been no reports on ransome and contact from his abductors.